Thailand head coach Chris Daleo did not bring any players to the post-game pleasantries after their 53-120 defeat at the hands of South Korea, Saturday evening.
And he might not bring any of them to Hanoi later this year for the 31st Southeast Asian Games.
The American head coach wants to see these 11 men show competitiveness when they take on Indonesia on Sunday at 12:00NN.
“As I told them in the locker room, there’s going to be players who have their jerseys and keep it since they will not be in my SEA Games roster if they don’t put forth a better performance than what we saw today.”
Thailand only brought 11 players to Clark, namely Chanathip Jakrawan, Sukhdave Ghogar, Wattana Suthisin, Nattakarn Muangboon, Chatpon Chungyampin, Nakorn Jaisanuk, Afnan Chalansarn, Anasawee Klawnarong, Terawat Chantachon, and Jittapon Toveroj.
Six of those players were part of the team that put up a gallant stand in Seoul last February. These include Jakrawan, Ghogar, Suthisin, Muangboon, Chungyampin, and Jaisanuk.
Fourteen months later, it seems that the team has regressed, missing rotations with the Koreans easily blowing by. Even if they did not have Tyler Lamb in the game, all Daleo wanted was some fight from his boys.
And so for Daleo, the program he has built for the last four years took “15 steps back” after the game.
“It’s like people lost track of what we did in the SEA Games and against Korea. All that seems like we’re just washed away and we have totally new players. That’s what is disappointing to me,” he lamented.
“I’ll be honest, it’s like fifteen steps backwards. It’s very frustrating. We’ve played better basketball and we did not show it today. It’s one thing to lose a ball game but the way you go about losing it, you just can’t… It’s hard for me to stomach.”
Daleo stressed that playing in back-to-back days is the life of professional players. And it should not be an excuse if they don’t perform well against Lester Prosper and Indonesia.
Now, he wants his boys to immediately head to the hotel and reflect on what needs to be done.
After all, it’s their SEA Games life at stake.
“At the SEA Games, we play four games in five days. Anybody can have up with an excuse for poor play, I don’t believe in that. Players better come out, get to bed early, get a good meal, and play hard tomorrow.”